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Letter: It’s A Shame the Cathedral’s Planning Application Was Not Approved

Published on: 21 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 21 Feb, 2017

From Helena Townsend

Its a shame Guildford Cathedral’s planning application didn’t get approved. The area is in desperate need of investment and some of the roads are very scruffy. A new development would have breathed new life into this area and I think it needs regeneration.

The grounds are extensive, sparse and bland and the cathedral is very ugly. Anything built up to it which can help bock its view from the town should be encouraged.

Hopefully they will try again with a new application.

If the cathedral truly can’t continue maybe total demolition and a much larger housing estate could be built. And since we have all the street light cuts perhaps someone could turn off the ghastly orange lights illuminating it – it should be hidden.

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Responses to Letter: It’s A Shame the Cathedral’s Planning Application Was Not Approved

  1. Howard Moss Reply

    February 21, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I have to question if Helena Townsend in her letter: “It’s a shame the cathedral’s planning application was not approved,” actually read the application or attended the planning meeting.

    At no point did the applicants offer to improve roads or make investment into the area, their sole purpose was to build on the side of the cathedral and make as much profit as possible; they admitted this in the financial reports.

    This development would not have breathed new life into the area, quite the contrary it would just have made it more congested.

    I wonder where exactly Ms Townsend means when she describes the area as scruffy? This seems to be snobbery in the extreme. I am sure the residents of Ridgemount with their well maintained housing would disagree.

    It is true that the cathedral grounds are bland, no amount of overbuilt housing would change this. Moreover perhaps the worshipers could pay for landscaping?

  2. Russell Morris Reply

    February 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I am pleased that Ms Townsend prefers bland suburban development to bland grassy hillsides. That must make the Home Counties an ever increasingly beautiful place for her.

  3. Katie Bangweal Reply

    February 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Helena Townsend’s comment appears extremely ill-informed and lacks any kind of thought for the wider stakeholders. It sadly seems people of this short-sighted mind-set are often at the helm of making such disastrous planning decisions so on this occasion it is a joy to see the application rejected – for now.

    The only sensible comment Ms Townsend made was that the entire cathedral should be retained but converted into apartments. This would provide excellent income revenue for the Church of England, utilise an under-used building and resolve on-going management costs.

    Due to religious and social beliefs of the last 200 years there are now far too many religious buildings and this would resolve the issue whilst firming up attendees at alternative local sites.

  4. George Potter Reply

    February 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    More to the point, the cathedral was trying to avoid putting in the required proportion of affordable housing.

    Because of this, I’m very glad their application was rejected if their sense of Christian charity and compassion couldn’t even extend to following planning rules designed to make it easier for people on low incomes to live in Guildford.

  5. David Smith Reply

    February 23, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    To be honest I agree somewhat with the Ms Townsend. The refused proposal needs amending, but I do think a well designed scheme of houses will soften the stark building and grounds which (no pun intended) are soulless.

    I have used this area as a cut through many times to get to the campus and you never see a single person using the grounds.

    In terms of traffic I would have thought this was a highly sustainable location being just minutes from the station and town. Bearing in mind the car park planned for GPA is so near you almost wonder if people will use their cars as much as people think.

    In terms of the above comment – houses will add some interest to this area if they have some architectural merit.

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